Is wisdom teeth removal necessary? Removing the wisdom teeth has become almost a rite of passage for young adults. Most dentists recommend having your wisdom teeth taken-even when they barely hurt. The question then remains why it is necessary, and more importantly, when it is necessary to remove the wisdom teeth. Read further to understand why and when to remove wisdom teeth.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third final molar set that most people get in their early twenties or late teens. When healthy and properly aligned, wisdom teeth can be valuable assets to your mouth. However, in most cases, wisdom teeth tend to be misaligned and will require removal.
How Do You Know if You Have Wisdom Teeth?
Ask your dentist to help you assess your wisdom teeth positioning. A dentist may periodically take an X-ray to evaluate the presence and alignment of your wisdom teeth. The dentist may also refer you to an oral surgeon for further assessment.
In most cases, a dental expert will recommend wisdom teeth removal even before any further complications. This is essential to avoid a more complicated or painful extraction years after evaluation.
Here are the five primary reasons why you need wisdom teeth removal:
1.Damage to Nearby Teeth
This extra set of molars tends to push your teeth around, causing bite problems and mouth pain. Since your permanent teeth are already positioned, the wisdom teeth erupt and force them to shift their positioning.
Besides pain and bite challenges, overcrowding will make it hard to floss or brush efficiently. Consequently, your teeth are exposed to decay or cavities. In addition, if you delay early treatment, you may require additional procedures to straighten the affected neighboring teeth.
2.Damage to the Jaw
Damage to your jaw bones is often an inevitable experience after stiffness and pain. It impacts your mouth’s function and motion significantly. Wisdom teeth erupt from the jaws and via your gums. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, especially where no spaces are left around the teeth.
In some individuals, wisdom teeth grow impacted within the jaw. As a result, it shifts the other jaws as well as the jawline. Such an instance will limit the opening of the mouth and cause excruciating pain when attempting to do so.
Moreover, cysts generally form along with the new set of molars, potentially hollowing out the jaw bones and damaging the nerves of the permanent teeth if left unchecked.
3.Sensitivity and Pain
This is most likely one of the reasons people find out about their molars, since teeth pain often requires immediate dental attention. But like any dental challenges, the teeth start small and sometimes virtually undetectable. If you notice any toothache, sensitivity, or slight throbbing sensations, consult a dentist for a thorough diagnosis.
The pain and sensitivity are likely to be erupted wisdom teeth, especially if you feel it upon contact to the back of your mouth while brushing or eating. Before you know it, the teeth will be growing at an angle to the other teeth, crowding the other teeth and affecting your jaws.
Gums also suffer through impacted wisdom teeth. The eruption of wisdom teeth horizontally or at an angle to the other teeth causes gums to swell, making them hard to clean. Your gum line will also feel sore to the touch, hindering proper flossing and brushing.
Impacted wisdom teeth also affect sinuses. Experts recommend wisdom teeth removal when the growth causes sinus pain, congestion, and pressure.
When Should You Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
For most people, Pain is a clear sign that the wisdom teeth have erupted and require extraction. However, it is not the only symptom that warrants wisdom teeth removal.
When to Remove Wisdom Teeth: As A Preventative Measure
Just because your wisdom teeth aren’t causing any pain doesn’t mean nothing is wrong. They could be stuck or impacted. As such, they can’t break through your jaw and into the mouth. Perhaps your mouth is too small to create space for them, or the teeth are growing at an angle to neighboring teeth. This could further lead to damage.
As you get older, your mouth bones harden, making your teeth hard to extract. Therefore, Most dentists take out healthy molars to prevent complications that arise later on.
The ease of wisdom teeth extraction generally depends on the position and stage of development. Luckily, a dental expert should be in a position to provide you with an idea of what to expect during the pre-extraction assessment. A fully erupted wisdom tooth via the gum is easy to extract like any other tooth.
On the other hand, a wisdom tooth located below the gum and stuck in the jawbone requires an incision into the gums and then extraction of the bone portion lying above the tooth. In such a situation, the dentist/surgeon extracts the tooth in smaller sections instead of as a whole. This is to reduce the bone amount to be removed to extract the tooth.
Before extraction, the dentist uses a local anesthetic to numb out the teeth and surrounding tissues. You can also decide with your dentist if you need a sedative to control any anxiety.
After the extraction, your speed of recovery depends on how difficult and complex the tooth extraction was. Some of the post symptoms and effects to expect include:
- Bleeding, which may occur several hours after the extraction
- Facial swelling where the teeth were extracted from
- Mild to intense pain, depending on the situation.
Tips to ensure faster recovery after wisdom teeth removal include:
- Taking any prescribed antibiotics
- Restrict all foods to a liquid diet until all numbness from the anesthesia wears off
- Keep brushing your teeth while avoiding the teeth adjacent to the recently extracted space during the first 24-48 hours. Subsequently, resume gentle brushing as recovery progresses
- Avoid using commercial mouth rinses since they tend to irritate the extraction point.
If you have not experienced any wisdom teeth situation, the wise move would be to consult a dentist. An X-ray assessment can help determine if you have hidden wisdom teeth growth and when to remove them. Regardless, the best time to remove your wisdom teeth is as soon as you notice the growth. This will serve as a preventative measure to avoid possible future complications.